Providence Community Library System to Close September 10 Through 15 Due to Cut in City Funding
Sacrifice by PCL Staff Minimizes Extenet of Closures
The Providence Community Library system will close Monday, September 10 through Saturday, September 15 due to a cut of $205,000 in funding from the City of Providence. Regular library operations will resume Monday, September 17.
To address the bulk of this devastating cut in City funding, the employees of Providence Community Library (90% of whom are members of United Service and Allied Workers of RI) have agreed to forego the 401(k) contribution made by the Library during the current fiscal year. PCL and its employees hope that this great financial sacrifice by all of PCL’s employees, together with the closing of the libraries for one week, will be sufficient to address this budget shortfall.
PCL’s employees have agreed to forego this year’s contributions to their only pension plan in the hope that this sacrifice will allow PCL to continue providing full library services at all nine of its libraries and with the expectation that the City of Providence will show its support for continuing library services in the City’s neighborhoods by committing to increased funding for the libraries from this point forward.
How many books, hospitals, libraries and schools would a $75 million worth of videogames have financed?
There must be overwhelming economic pressure to downsize or close public brick and mortar libraries. Most books and related materials are likely available online. Other materials presumably could be made available at public school facilities.
On the contrary. libraries, true pillars of civilization, are quite popular. For example, when our North Prov Mayor once proposed library hour cutbacks, there was considerable push-back and the cuts were ultimately averted, though they did have to cu some subscriptions.
The underlying problem here is not lack of public support for libraries but a variety of economic problems including the current recession, long-term middle-class flight from the city, anti-tax anti-government zealotry, and policies such as “free trade” that have de-industrialized much of our region and eroded the tax base. Library employees, not well paid to begin with, and patrons are the latest victims. However the PCL branches were saved by dedicated community activists and they deserve our help and support as their efforts and energy are still much needed.